The Devil is not so/as black as he is painted.

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Anne Frank

Senior Member
Russian
Hello there! Which one is correct to say: only 'The Devil is not so black as he had painted', or I can actually put 'as' once more instead of 'so' in the proverb? Thank you.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    In present-day English we usually say 'not as . . . as', just as for the positive 'as . . . as', but in earlier years 'not so' was more common, so this old proverbial expression uses that.
     
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